Jaci looked a long time for the right dog. She needed one that could be trained to detect and notify her when her blood sugar level drastically dropped, sometimes causing unanticipated loss of consciousness. Jaci had done her homework about the breeds and the traits of a dog that would be capable of doing so.
Jaci visited Sacramento County Bradshaw Animal Shelter and tested various dogs she had seen on the shelter’s website. Rescue/Foster Coordinator Meghan spotted Jaci with a barking dog and asked if she’d like to see the dog in a quieter space. Jaci said that she was seeking a specific kind of dog, one that could pass special personality tests. Additional points would be given to one that would be compatible with other animals, including rabbits (Jaci raises rabbits that are shown all over the country).
As fate had it, Meghan, too, had rabbits. But, Meghan also had a dog that she had been fostering for months, named “Spooner.”
When Spooner initially arrived at the shelter he was emaciated and had skin and fur problems. He was completely withdrawn and would not engage with any animals, nor people, around him. He was sad.
Meghan decided to foster Spooner and took him home. Meghan soon saw an amazing dog hidden behind stress and fear. Once he settled into a home environment and put on some weight, Spooner proved to love absolutely every critter that crossed his path, and even became a helper dog to other animals Meghan brought home, animals that were initially too scared to open up.
Jaci listened, and was not only interested, but believed--according to Jaci’s research--he likely had the capacity to become a service dog.
So, they decided to give it a try. On New Year’s Eve, 2015, Spooner went home with Jaci and became “Cooper.” Within one week, Cooper was responding when Jaci’s blood sugar dropped, by intently staring at her.
Today, 16 months later, Cooper has come out of his shell and is amazingly confident. He lives with Jaci and her husband Brian, two cats, a guinea pig, and rabbits.
Cooper accompanies Jaci everywhere and is learning to pat Jaci’s leg (in addition to the stare) when her sugar levels are dropping.
Jaci’s favorite saying is, “People saving shelter dogs, shelter dogs saving people.”
If you would like to be a foster parent to a shelter animal, please check out our foster page and attend the next foster orientation.
Throughout April, Bradshaw Animal Shelter is encouraging loving humans to shower a shelter pet with love for $25. All adult dogs, cats and rabbits can be adopted for $25. which includes vaccinations, microchipping, spay/neutering.